Donate your Winter Fuel Payment so older people in Somerset don’t have to choose between heating and eating

November 22, 2021

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) has launched this year’s Surviving Winter appeal, which encourages people who can afford it to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment to help vulnerable older people in Somerset who are unable to afford to heat their homes to stay warm and well.

As we head into winter, rising energy costs mean more of our older neighbours here in Somerset are forced to choose between heating and eating. This winter will continue to be difficult and worrying for many in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as many pensioners will need to stay at home to keep themselves safe, and will find themselves cut off from family and friends, facing higher costs to heat their homes while becoming even more isolated.

Justin Sargent, Chief Executive at Somerset Community Foundation said: “We estimate that at least 9,000 older people households in Somerset will not have enough money to afford to heat their homes sufficiently this winter. Cold weather is a prime cause of around 500 preventable deaths a year, with older people and those living in older or isolated rural homes most likely to experience the largest degree of fuel poverty.

“Thanks to the bright idea of one generous pensioner, we can make sure that hundreds of older people in Somerset are being supported to stay warm, safe and well every winter through our Surviving Winter campaign.”

Every year Surviving Winter helps around 500 elderly people living in Somerset through the cold winter months, thanks to generous local donors who, last year, donated over £150,000 to the appeal. And this year, the first £15,000 of donations will be boosted by an incredible 50% thanks to matched funding from the Field House Trust, meaning your giving makes an even greater impact.

SCF is delighted to announce that Glastonbury Festival organiser and long-time Surviving Winter supporter Michael Eavis CBE is supporting Surviving Winter for another year.

Of this year’s Surviving Winter appeal, Michael says: “I’m very pleased to be donating to Surviving Winter again this year. We would be so pleased if you would consider giving some or all of your Winter Fuel Payment to the appeal. It is a simple and easy way to help people in our community who will be struggling to stay warm and healthy this winter.”

Help Somerset Community Foundation reach their target of raising £120,000 to help at least 500 isolated and vulnerable older people this year.

If you would like to donate to Surviving Winter, visit or call 01749 344949. A donation form is also available to download from the Somerset Community Foundation website.

Further information on how to apply for a Surviving Winter grant will be published shortly on Somerset Community Foundation’s website. Please check: for updates.

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